Wednesday, February 9, 2011

woodcut with beveled plywood plate

This woodcut exhibit is amazing. After finishing this extensive post I was itchy to try a woodcut myself. Claire Leighton used dark silhouettes in her designs. See Under The Greenwood Tree (below). Double click on images to enlarge. 

Helen West Heller loved pattern in her work. 
See Flight Arrow (below)

In the dim morning light I sketched my black dog stretched out on the sofa. In homage to both Leighton and Heller I put in dark silhouettes and patterns. Drawn lightly with pencil, then over with Sharpie marker. Close ups (above). Digging with the lino cutter was much harder on the plywood plate. It was aggravating. Was I wasting my time?? Plate before inking (next). Turquoise inked plywood plate (next).

Quarters I, 5 by 7 inches, beveled plywood panel, turquoise inked image above. 

Click on inking of Quarters I print 2 minute video.

After experimenting with acrylic paint from the tube and then with the Speedball water soluable ink, I decided the acrylic paint printed too light. The commercial Speedball ink had a better tack to it. Rolled out on the glass pane, it had a better consistency--it laid down thicker and the print was more even.

5 minute video, talking about plywood plates.

Glidden Road was done different. I stained the plywood surface with watered down Raw Umber acrylic paint. Then, lightly drew pencil design on top, from a painting by the same name. Then, made cuts with my lino cutter. The flicked cuts showed up easier this way. The effect was clearer to see as I worked over the surface. This time I through myself into the project. The only way to get better was to get busy and do it. Just do it. 
I was wanting to be good at it before I even knew what I was doing. That whole "beginner's attitude."


Glidden Road (Homage to Lankes),
5 by 7 inches, beveled plywood plate (above). Turquoise inked plate (next). Last impression (below that).


It was practical to roll out on the plywood plate, lay a clean sheet of paper on the inked image, rub the back off the paper, then pull the paper off, set it aside to dry on the rack. Then repeat the process again. Ink the plate, lay on the paper, rub the back, pull the paper off, and set aside to dry. Then do it all again for each print, until the paper was gone. One hopes the image will print the same each time.

I had cut the plates on Saturday. Then, Sunday after church, we drove by her art room on campus and I sprayed a clear coat of fixative over the plywood plate. (This fixative only works at 50 degrees or more, thus spraying indoors was the way to go, not out in the cold cold snow, no.) Let dry and sprayed another coat. When we returned after lunch, the plates smelled lacquery (of course) but they were water-proofed, ready to be inked. Then, when the inking was done for the day, the ink came off easily with a scrub brush and tap water in the sink, and the moisture was toweled off the plates.

A set of three images are taped to my wall, where I can glance, and let that "new beginning" grow on me. I have bought more plates and want to do it some more. Here is to "new beginnings."